A Saturday afternoon blaze on 25th Street in Apalachicola cost a family their home, but spared them injury.
Three of the family dogs, Tiny Mama, Gizmo and Demo, which were a Chihuahua, a Jack Russell and a Pomeranian, perished in the fire, that was reported about 3:41 p.m. at the home of Charles and Tammy Taunton, 55 25th Street.
Firefighters from Apalachicola, Eastpoint and St. George Island were on the scene within minutes, and poured steady streams of water on the front and back to dampen the flames.
Smoke poured from the one-story home as the flames were doused.
Charles Taunton told firefighters the origin of the blaze likely was faulty air conditioner wiring in the bedroom, one of five room air conditioner units. He said that after smelling smoke, he investigated to find the wall where the air conditioner was engulfed in flames.
The Taunton family, which also includes son Tony, 15, and Timothy, 18, lost everything in the blaze, and needs assistance getting back on their feet. Since all their personal documents were destroyed, their niece has helped them set up an account at Centennial Bank. (See sidebar)
After staying at The El Rancho until Tuesday, they now have found a place to live. Charles Taunton said the community has been very generous to his family. He said Kit Mashburn at Coastal Furniture opened his doors wide to help provide furniture and household goods.
How you can help
An account has been set up at Centennial Bank in the name of Randi Mae Dempsey, niece for Charles and Tammy Taunton. If you would like to assist the family or for more information you can call Sandi Hengle, Franklin County Schools homeless liaison at (850) 323-0982.
Furniture, clothing, shoes and household items all can be helpful. If you cannot drop it off, Terress Martina has posted on Facebook she will be happy to pick it up. Message her on FB, or call her at 653-5814. If you can't donate but want to give something, just give a second of your time to send up a prayer for them.
The clothing sizes are below:
XL sweat pants